Chargers vs. Kansas City: Who has the edge?

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CHARGERS (0-2) vs. KANSAS CITY (2-0)
When: Sunday, 1:25 p.m.
Where: StubHub Center
Line: Kansas City by 3 points
TV/Radio: Ch. 2; 640-AM, 980-AM (Spanish)

CHARGERS OFFENSE vs. KANSAS CITY DEFENSE

The Chargers have moved the ball efficiently, ranking 10th in the league with 5.6 yards per play. They just haven’t been able to finish drives. The team scored touchdowns on four of its five red-zone trips this year, but also crossed midfield seven other times without finding the end zone. Kansas City has two dangerous pass rushers in Chris Jones and Justin Houston, but the loss of All-Pro safety Eric Berry (Achilles) makes it a less frightening unit overall. Although this is still a top-10 scoring defense, it gives up more yards per game (388.5) than all but three other NFL teams. EDGE: CHARGERS

KANSAS CITY OFFENSE vs. CHARGERS DEFENSE

Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa have been as good as advertised so far, combining for four of the team’s six sacks. But behind the front line, the Chargers don’t look as sturdy. Injuries to linebacker Denzel Perryman and cornerback Jason Verrett have left the defense vulnerable, with even fundamentals like tackling still inconsistent. And on the other side of the field, Alex Smith has a bevy of playmakers at his disposal, from tight end Travis Kelce (first-team All-Pro) to rookie running back Kareem Hunt (five touchdowns) to receiver Tyreek Hill (176 yards). EDGE: KANSAS CITY

SPECIAL TEAMS

Hill was a unanimous All-Pro punt returner as a rookie, taking two back to the end zone, to go with 592 yards — but his three returns have only gone for 15 yards this season. He might be due to break a long one, and only six teams have been worse than the Chargers on punt return coverage this season. And if the game goes down to the wire, the Chargers could again be relying on rookie kicker Younghoe Koo, who was wide right on last week’s potential game-winning field goal attempt. EDGE: KANSAS CITY

COACHING

Andy Reid has reached the playoffs 12 times as an NFL head coach. Anthony Lynn is winless as a head coach, and made three postseason appearances as running backs coach. It’s too early to rule on Lynn’s coaching prowess one way or another, but Reid has established himself firmly in the top tier. EDGE: KANSAS CITY

INTANGIBLES

The Chargers played in front of a split crowd in its home opener, with owner Dean Spanos getting booed at nearly every mention or appearance. Radios and blogs are buzzing about a potential move back to San Diego — an embarrassing discussion, even if it isn’t grounded in reality. But the Chargers haven’t started 0-3 since 2003. They might not be very good this year, but in accordance with cosmic balance, they should still win enough games to be intriguing. EDGE: CHARGERS

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Chargers receiver Keenan Allen vs. Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters: Had Allen not torn his ACL in Week 1 last year, the Chargers might have left Arrowhead Stadium with a win. That’s according to Peters, whom Allen abused en route to six catches and 63 yards before being carted off the field late in the first half. The 6-foot-2 wideout looks healthy again, and will likely be eager to settle the score.

PREDICTION

The Chargers are the only winless team in the division. Kansas City hasn’t lost to an AFC West opponent since 2015. On paper, this should be a clear road victory — especially in front of stands that could look like a sea of red. But luck has to tilt toward the Chargers at some point, right? … Right? Chargers 35, Kansas City 31

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